|release date||January 1 1921|
|starring||Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg|
SynopsisThe last person to die on New Year’s Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death’s chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. So says the legend that drives The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen), directed by the father of Swedish cinema, Victor Sjöström. The story, based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, concerns an alcoholic, abusive ne’er-do-well (Sjöström himself) who is shown the error of his ways, and the pure-of-heart Salvation Army sister who believes in his redemption. This extraordinarily rich and innovative silent classic (which inspired Ingmar Bergman to make movies) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving morality tale, as well as a showcase for groundbreaking special effects.
Charlie Chaplin called it “the best film I’ve ever seen”. Ingmar Bergman, who saw the film over 100 times, said it’s “one of the absolute masterpieces in the history of cinema”. It’s based on a novel by the first female to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. It’s directed by the father of Swedish cinema. It’s cited as an influence on everything from Murnau’s Nosferatu to Dryer’s Vampyr to Cocteau’s Orpheus to Kubrick’s The Shining. And author Steven Jay Schneider’s ubiquitous book names it one of the ‘1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die’–but you’ve probably never seen it. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of it. …Read More